- The Washington Times - Friday, June 16, 2017

Families of victims killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are threatening legal action against NBC News over its plan to air an interview on Sunday featuring Infowars founder Alex Jones, a far-right media personality and conspiracy theorist who previously called the massacre a “hoax” and “completely fake.”

Attorneys representing several Sandy Hook families wrote to NBC on Thursday urging the network against broadcasting an interview with Mr. Jones currently slated to air on this weekend’s episode of “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” calling into question its decision to provide a platform to a person who previously suggested the mass shooting never happened.

“This decision may be driven by the simple urge to gain an edge in a well-publicized ratings war; but it has devastating human consequences as well,” attorneys Josh Koskoff and Katie Mesner-Hage wrote.

“Airing Ms. Kelly’s interview implicitly endorses the notion that Mr. Jones’ lies are actually ‘claims’ that are worthy of serious debate; and in doing so it exponentially enhances the suffering and distress of our clients. For that NBC is responsible. We urge you to consider the ethical and legal ramifications of broadcasting this interview to millions of Americans,” they added, according to a copy obtained by Variety.

An NBC spokesperson said Friday the segment will air as scheduled during Sunday’s episode.

Both NBC and Ms. Kelly, a former Fox News host, have endured a litany of criticism this week for interviewing Mr. Jones on account of his previous comments concerning the Sandy Hook massacre.

The Sandy Hook massacre was “synthetic” and “completely fake with actors,” Mr. Jones said during a 2013 broadcast of his popular radio program. “I couldn’t believe it at first. I knew they had actors there, clearly, but I thought they killed some real kids.”

“I don’t know what the truth is, all I know is the official story of Sandy Hook has more holes in it than Swiss cheese,” he said last November.

The network ignited a firestorm upon previewing the interview earlier this week, and Mr. Jones himself has since urged NBC to cancel the segment over concerns his comments will be edited out of context.

“Despite Alex Jones’ efforts to distract from and ultimately prevent the airing of our report, we remain committed to giving viewers context and insight into a controversial and polarizing figure, how he relates to the president of the United States and influences others, and to getting this serious story right,” an NBC News spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday. “Tune in Sunday.”

NBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday specifically concerning the letter from attorneys.

Ms. Kelly defended her decision to interview Mr. Jones earlier this week partially due to his impressive audience: Mr. Jones claims to reach about 45 million people a week through his Infowars website, radio and internet broadcasts, and notably interviewed President Trump in 2015. Mr. Trump’s former White House campaign adviser, Roger Stone, has since filled-in for Mr. Jones on multiple occasions. 

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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